Gas Prices Ready to Go Through the Roof http://www.southtownstar.com/business/tridgell/714312,122707onthemove.article http://www.truthnews.us/?p=1429 For Joe Motorist, there was no bigger story in 2007 than the price of gas. Unfortunately for Mr. Motorist, it is going to be an even bigger story in 2008. The average price this past year for a gallon of unleaded gas in the Chicago area was a whopping $2.98, according to data compiled by the AAA-Chicago Motor Club. The average price at the pump was 28 cents higher from a year ago, setting a new record for the highest annual average. The Oil Price Information Service determined Americans are spending 4 percent of their incomes on gas - double the amount from five years ago. Since the first oil was pumped from the ground, refined into gasoline and used to power internal combustion engines, there has been a predictable pricing cycle. The numbers at the pump are at their largest in the spring and summer months before shrinking in the fall and reaching their low point after the winter holidays. That isn’t happening this year. A year ago at this time, the price was about $2.40 a gallon. As I peek out the window today, I see prices hovering near $3 a gallon. For us to avoid another record year of gas prices, they need to take a historic dive in the next month or so. Sorry, but that ain’t going to happen. Don’t be shocked to see $4-a-gallon fuel in these parts by the middle of next summer. One theory is prices somehow are miraculously kept in check during a presidential election year. I am not buying it this time around. The incumbent is not running, so the incentive to keep voters happy is missing. We also remain up to our armpits in Iraq, keeping the petroleum-rich Middle East in turmoil. And Venezuela, which has become one of the world’s top oil producers, is in political disarray. The one thing that could keep prices down is the economy going into a deeper funk. But if that happens, are we really coming out ahead? Joe Motorist, the fun is just beginning.